Moody’s Raises Worries over China Loans as Communist Party Paper Calls Debt Load Original Sin

Moody’s Investors Service Tuesday flagged worries over China’s burgeoning debt load a day after a party newspaper branded high leverage in the economy as the “original sin”.

Total debt in the world’s second-largest economy stands at 280 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), much of it owed by entities owned by or related to the government, potentially leaving Beijing on the hook for a portion of these loans, Moody’s said in a report.

China’s actual government debt is more modest at around 40 percent of GDP with state-owned entities (SOEs) owing 115 percent of GDP, higher than any other rated sovereign, Moody’s said.

Moody’s estimated that that liabilities worth 20 percent to 25 percent of GDP could potentially require restructuring. Not all of this restructuring will strain the government’s balance sheet though. The government would potentially support some SOEs though engineering mergers, injecting equity or reducing their size, the ratings agency said.

CNBC

Craig Erlam
Based in London, England, Craig Erlam joined OANDA in 2015 as a Market Analyst. With more than five years' experience as a financial market analyst and trader, he focuses on both fundamental and technical analysis while conducting macroeconomic commentary. He has been published by The Financial Times, Reuters, the BBC and The Telegraph, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on Bloomberg TV, CNBC, FOX Business and BNN. Craig holds a full membership to the Society of Technical Analysts and he is recognized as a Certified Financial Technician by the International Federation of Technical Analysts.